Increasing smart meter privacy through energy harvesting and storage devices

Onur Tan, Deniz Gunduz, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Smart meters are key elements for the operation of smart grids. By providing near realtime information on the energy consumption of individual users, smart meters increase the efficiency in generation, distribution and storage of energy in a smart grid. The ability of the utility provider to track users' energy consumption inevitably leads to important threats to privacy. In this paper, privacy in a smart metering system is studied from an information theoretic perspective in the presence of energy harvesting and storage units. It is shown that energy harvesting provides increased privacy by diversifying the energy source, while a storage device can be used to increase both the energy efficiency and the privacy of the user. For given input load and energy harvesting rates, it is shown that there exists a trade-off between the information leakage rate, which is used to measure the privacy of the user, and the wasted energy rate, which is a measure of the energy-efficiency. The impact of the energy harvesting rate and the size of the storage device on this trade-off is also studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6547840
Pages (from-to)1331-1341
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Data privacy
  • energy harvesting
  • energy-efficiency
  • information theoretic security
  • rechargeable batteries
  • smart grids
  • smart meters


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